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Nokia’s L’Amour 2006 collection – take two
Having groped the concept of releasing tailored devices for the fashion market, Nokia has been consistently developing it and in 2005 launched three handsets for its very own L’Amour collections. These three phones were arranged form-factor wise in a way to supplement each other as much as it’s only possible. The most affordable one was the candy-bar shaped Nokia 7360, Nokia 7370 coming in rotator form-factor followed up, and finally the stick-looking Nokia 7380 concluded the range. However this collection didn’t produce a wow-effect back then, as it was perceived as a successor to the three-handset Art Deco collection, released in 2004.
Art Deco collection
Lack of revolutionary approach, though, didn’t mean consumers were not showing interest at all – on the contrary, against the background of same-looking models made occasionally by Asian manufacturers, these devices had a number of priceless attractions. Probably the most distinctive things are the nameplates found on each handset and aimed at emphasizing its status. “A worthless trinket” – one might say, however that trinket appeared in the right place and at the right time, it just was what consumers had wanted, so that it became a true symbol. Those who buy fashion handsets prefer purchasing items in various boutiques (clothing as well), where nameplates are extremely wide-spread. On the whole, it’s a well-known element of design that makes people subconsciously recognize an item’s status. Naturally, you are at liberty to think that it’s all made up and has nothing to do with reality, just as I did until recently. Early this year a girl-friend of mine had asked me where she could find a service centre for Nokia 7370; a bit later, in May, we saw each other and that conversation accidentally came to my mind, so I asked her about the device’s destiny. The answer really astonished me. A mature woman called at a service centre not to update the firmware or replace the casing (the paint started peeling in several places), but to get a new nameplate. Her five-year old daughter had “accidentally” cut it off and used as a toy. My attempts to find out why she needed that piece of cloth so badly ended up with the following verdict after an enduring search for the answer: «I get really frustrated when it’s not there, the handset seems somewhat incomplete». She is not an eccentric person, thus we can say that a nameplate is considered by women as a stylish and very essential detail.
Another factor that provided success for the collection was ornamental pattern etched on the front panel. Well-picked accessories, a strap crowned with a tassel – all this added a lot to the devices’ image. In fact it was design in the first place that attracted so many people. Design and the brand. I doubt something similar could have happened if a second-rate manufacturer released such collection.
Sales of L’Amour-labeled handsets already after three months from the moment of release were twice as good as Nokia’s best expectations – the handsets had managed to become true bestsellers (this rather goes for the first two models, as the senior phone was too eclectic and therefore didn’t gain such popularity). So the reason for updating the collection is quite simple: these products are still in demand, however it’s essential to attract extra attention and, on top of that, substitute a new player for quite unsuccessful Nokia 7380.
L’Amour 2006 collection consists of three handsets, just as before. Nokia 7360 opens up the range, generally speaking it hasn’t changed a bit, saving for two new trims that are now available – black and pink. The manufacturer claims that the black color scheme would fit in men’s hands, while women would rather go for the pink – quite curious division, as it wasn’t so obvious before. The starting price will make 200 Euro, which is exactly the same we saw a year ago (compare: old colors of Nokia 7360 cost around 170-180 Euro nowadays). Definitely, it’s a good way of renewing the line-up and prolonging the life cycle of older precuts, as in fact spec sheets are not of the utmost importance in collections like this.
Model Nokia 7373 retains nearly the same curves and edges of its predecessor, yet differs in terms of finishing by coming in two brand-new trims: Bronze and Powder Pink. Nevertheless the major enhancements are related to the functionality: the model now boasts a 2 Mpix camera (instead of 1 1.3 one), however there are certain concerns that its quality would be inferior to that of Nokia’s smartphones at any rate. Next, bundled memory has received a boost as well – from 10 Mb to 120 Mb and on top of that they’ve added microSD slot. The rest of specifications have remained untouched, if we are to overlook pre-installed games and other content.
The 7373 will hit the market in November 2006 at the price of 350 approximately Euro.
The senior model, Nokia 7390 brings something new to the well-known S40 platform, as it bases off the S40 3rd Edition FP1. Software features of this shell will be covered in a special article, as here we would rather dwell on other details. The first and the most important difference from the previous collection is functionality – as a matter of fact it delivers just enough of features to be considered as an ordinary clamshell. Another distinction that, although, can be noted after playing around with the phone personally, it aimes not at women only – that should be a good handset for men as well. That is how come it packs better functionality as against other models and, basically, tries to show it off at the first opportunity. All in all it’s the first 3G device by Nokia to be a part of a fashion collection – video conferencing (there is a forward-facing camera) capabilities, as well as a 3 Mpix camera armed with auto-focus and flash are onboard. Actually such feature set is peculiar more to flagships of other manufactures. Also, it’s the company’s first handset to feature a re-worked music player, which now closes in on Walkman-branded solutions made by Sony Ericsson. And following this collection’s traditions, there are two types of finishing available - Bronze Black and Powder Pink. The model’s price is 450 Euro; it’s scheduled to begin shipping this November.
Published 21 September 2006
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